President Joe Biden’s most recent remarks reveal just what he thinks of the American press. He sat down for a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House where he was caught on a hot mic making a comment about the Indian press.
“I think what we’re going to do is bring in the press. The Indian press is much better behaved than the American press. I think, with your permission, you could not answer questions because they won’t ask any questions on point,” Biden said as they sat down to face questions.
This is the second time in the last week that Biden has treated journalists with such hostility. Just a few days ago, he rushed White House journalists out of the room during a meeting with United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson, even after Johnson said he would take questions.
Some of the Indian media sources even noted that this was probably not the kind of compliment Biden intended to give and that Modi was not the person to say it to. While Modi replied that he completely agreed with Biden, it’s worth noting that he came into power in 2014 and has only given one press conference. Modi gave a press conference in 2019 and, even then, refused to answer any questions.
Biden has given more than a single press conference since taking office but has made it abundantly clear that he isn’t the one behind his words. He follows a list of pre-selected reporters to call on who have pre-selected questions and then reads his answers off the teleprompter. He still finds a way to slip up in the occasional questions, even harassing reporters for asking ‘unhappy questions.’ He lashed out at a reporter right before Independent Day for asking a question about Afghanistan, in which he replied, “I want to talk about happy things, man!”
But White House press secretary Jen Psak has defended Biden and not talking about what he wants to talk about. When asked by two reporters about Biden talking to Modi about not taking questions from the American press, she tried to justify his move by saying that they are “not always on point.” She said Biden took questions today and on Friday, adding that it was not meant to be a hard cut at the members of the media.
“Well, I would note first that he took questions on Friday and he took questions again today. And I think what he said is that they’re not always on point. Now I know that isn’t something that anyone wants to hear in here, but what I think he was conveying is, you know, today he might want to talk about COVID vaccines, some of the questions were about that … Some of the questions are not always about the topic he’s talking about in that day,” Psaki said.
But the biggest problem is that Biden is not answering the important questions. He’s refusing to talk about the Afghanistan crisis, what’s happening at the border, or anything else that would hold him accountable for the mess. Democracy crumbles when the Press loses its ability to challenge and demand real answers that make sense. The only thing that makes sense is Biden’s serious cognitive issues.